SUNRISE, FL - NOVEMBER 12: Emerson Etem #65 of the Anaheim Ducks skates prior to the game against the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on November 12, 2013 in Sunrise, Florida.

Ducks recall Etem, Fistric from AHL

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Anaheim has recalled speedy forward Emerson Etem and veteran defenseman Mark Fistric from AHL Norfolk, the club announced on Sunday.

Etem, 21, scored 11 points in 29 games with the Ducks this season, spending the majority of his time with the Admirals. The former first-round pick has been very good at the American League level, scoring 54 points in 50 games while leading the team in almost every significant offensive category.

It’s possible Etem could draw into the Ducks lineup tonight when they take on the Stars in Dallas, but not likely. Matt Beleskey is still getting closer to a return from his lower-body injury and his replacement in Game 2, Devante Smith-Pelley, played very well (going plus-2 in over 13 minutes of ice).

Fistric, 27, was in Norfolk on a conditioning assignment after missing the end of the regular season with a lower-body ailment. The rugged rearguard had nine points in 34 games this year for the Ducks — the first of his three-year, $3.8 million deal signed back in January — but will have a hard time drawing back into the Anaheim lineup as the club seems pleased with its current top-six of Cam Fowler, Francois Beauchemin, Stephane Robidas, Ben Lovejoy, Hampus Lindholm and Bryan Allen.

To make room for Etem and Fistric, the Ducks sent rookie goalie John Gibson and defenseman Sami Vatanen down to Norfolk.


GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.